Get Your Kids in the Kitchen These Holidays

Published: Thu 13 Dec 2007 02:51 PM
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For immediate release
Date: 13 December 2007
Get Your Kids in the Kitchen These Holidays
Do your children tend to get a bit bored during the summer break? Do you struggle to find things for them to do? Why not get them helping out in the kitchen?
The summer break is a great time to get kids trying out cooking and preparing food as parents often have more time on their hands and kids are looking for fun, new things to keep them occupied.
Janet Hanvey, Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) project manager for the Waikato District Health Board said encouraging children to help out in the kitchen will not only help them learn how to cook but also teach them about the foods that are good for them.
"When kids help make a meal they are more likely to try the foods they helped to prepare, so there's less risk of them wasting or rejecting new foods.
"Plus, the more they learn the quicker they'll be able to help you out in the kitchen!"
Introduce your child to the kitchen can be easy just make sure you start them off with some easy and interesting tasks, said Mrs Hanvey.
"Ask them to help with the simple things like washing vegetables and getting food out for the meal.
"Get them involved in choosing the meal they'll be preparing and be ready to spend some time helping them as they learn. Kids love pizza so why not start them off by making a home-made version?"
Getting your children involved in the kitchen is just one of the tips that the Feeding our Futures campaign are using as simple advice for parents to help get their kids eating healthier.
"Evidence suggests that when good nutrition and healthy eating practices are established in childhood they are more likely to continue into adulthood, promoting good health and overall well-being for the future," said Mrs Hanvey.
Feeding our Futures focuses on helping New Zealand parents to establish good eating practices and healthy diets for children, to support them in continuing to eat healthily as they grow.
For more information about Feeding our Futures, visit their website at
Feeding Our Futures is a national social marketing campaign that is delivered by the Health Sponsorship Council (HSC) and supported by District Health Boards through HEHA.
HEHA is the Ministry of Health's strategic approach to improving nutrition and increasing physical activity. Health, education and sports trusts agencies are working together to develop a variety of projects to meet these goals along with key stakeholders in the region.
Healthy eating tips for families
- Eat together as a family as often as you can.
- Drink water and milk instead of sugary drinks.
- Provide a jug of water on the table for the whole family to share during mealtimes.
- Involve your kids in choosing a meal and then get them to help you prepare it, such as peeling, chopping, cooking or serving.
- Keep a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit on hand for quick healthy snacks.
- Try and make fruit and vegetables a part of every meal.
- To encourage kids to eat more fruit and vegetables, try cutting and presenting them in different, easy-to-eat shapes. Also try different cooking methods.
- Kids learn a lot from how their parents eat. Lead by example - make sure you eat and enjoy different vegetables as a regular part of your diet.
- Try making meal times enjoyable and a happy whanau time.
RECIPE: Home-made pizza
Base (or use pita breads if time is limited)
2 cups of flour
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup trim milk
Suggested toppings
Tin of spaghetti
Onion, finely diced
Pineapple chunks
Tomato, sliced
Red pepper sliced
Mushrooms, sliced
Edam cheese, grated
- Preheat your oven on to 200ºC
- Sift the flour and baking powder, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture is like course breadcrumbs
- Make a well in the centre, add the milk and mix until a stiff dough
- Turn out onto a floured board and kneed lightly. Roll it out (use a bottle if you do not have a rolling pin) to fit a greased pizza dish, baking tray or pie tin. Cut away the extra dough
- Spread over tinned spaghetti or tomato puree, chopped onions, pineapple pieces, tomato slices, pepper strips.
- Cover with a light sprinkling of grated cheese. Cook for 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Waikato District Health Board
Healthy People. Excellent Care
Waikato District Health Board (DHB) employs over 6500 people and plans, funds and provides hospital and health services to more than 391,770 people in a region covering eight per cent of New Zealand.
Contact Waikato District Health Board

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